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AGUSTINIA

a herbivorous titanosaurian sauropod dinosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina.
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Pronunciation: AH-goo-STEE-nee-uh
Meaning: for Agustin (Martinelli)
Author/s: Bonaparte (1999)
Synonyms: Augustia ligabuei
First Discovery: Neuquén, Argentina
Chart Position: 383

Agustinia ligabuei

Agustinia is a sauropod—the four-legged, barrel-bodied, long-necked and long-tailed herbivorous branch of saurischia—and was originally named "Augustia" in an abstract by José Bonaparte in a 1998. As so often transpires in paleontology, that name had already been assigned to a creepy-crawley (in this case a beetle) so the name was changed for the full, official publication the following year.

Because of what were thought to be weird stegosaur-like plates running down its neck, tail and back, Agustinia beggared classification, so Boneparte raised an all new group—Agustiniidae—to house it. This found precious little support amongst fellow professionals, mainly because diplodocids and titanosaurs were common as muck in the Early Cretaceous of Neuquén and as Agustinia sports features of both it likely belongs to one family or the other. On top of that, these "plates" are probably nothing more than fragments of ribs and hip bones.

Unfortunately, Agustinia fossils are fragmentary and poorly preserved so it remains a bit of an enigma. It may be a titanosauriforme, perhaps a somphospondylan.
(for Agustin Martinelli) Etymology
Agustinia is named after Agustin Martinelli, a young Argentine student who discovered it. The species epithet, ligabuei (lee-gah-BOO-ay-ie), honors Dr. Giancarlo Ligabue, a philanthropist who provided financial support to the expedition which recovered the remains. This is the second of three dinosaurs to honor Ligabue, sandwiched between Ligabueino andesi (1996) and Ligabuesaurus leanzai (2006). They were all named by José Bonaparte.
Discovery
The remains of Agustinia was discovered in the Cullín Grande Member of the Lohan Cura Formation (sandwiched between the older La Amarga Formation and the younger Candeleros Formation) at Cerro de los Leones, Neuquen Province, Argentina, in 1997. The holotype (MCF-PVPH 110) originally included an almost complete right shin and calfbone, five metatarsals from the left foot, three partial vertebrae from the back, six from the hip, and ten from the tail, and nine oddly-shaped "armour" plates. However, it was later suggested that the plates were perhaps partial rib bones or hip bones, or both, and the hip vertebrae are too damaged to count with accuracy. A thighbone was also found at the site but it was so fragmented it wasn't worth collecting.
Estimations
Timeline:
Era: Mesozoic
Epoch: Early Cretaceous
Stage: Aptian-Albian
Age range: 117-100 mya
Stats:
Est. max. length: 15 meters
Est. max. hip height: ?
Est. max. weight: 10 tons
Diet: Herbivore
References
• Bonaparte, J.F. (1999) "An armoured sauropod from the Aptian of northern Patagonia, Argentina" in "Proceedings of the Second Gondwanan Dinosaur Symposium Tokyo: National Science Museum Monographs".
• Upchurch, P., Barrett, P.M., and Dodson, P. (2004) "Sauropoda" in Weishampel, Dodson and Osmólska "The Dinosauria: Second Edition".
• Fernando Novas (2009) "The Age of Dinosaurs in South America".
• Mannion, P. D., Upchurch, P., Barnes, R. N., & Mateus, O. (2013) "Osteology of the Late Jurassic Portuguese sauropod dinosaur Lusotitan atalaiensis (Macronaria) and the evolutionary history of basal titanosauriforms".
• G.S. Paul (2010) "The Princeton Field Guide to Dinosaurs".
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To cite this page:
Atkinson, L. "AGUSTINIA :: from DinoChecker's dinosaur archive".
›. Web access: 19th Aug 2017.
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